It’s a fanfiction theory that likely won’t ever be considered part of the canon, but it’s an interesting one all the same and worth discussing since it could have possibly made the sequel trilogy to Star Wars better, or worse depending on one’s point of view. The idea that Rey is Anakin Skywalker reborn does have a few legs to stand on since it’s a theory that makes more sense than Rey being a Palpatine and gaining use of the Force simply because something triggered it and made her into an instant badass. If there was ever a story in which the sudden emergence of one’s skills was written so poorly it was, unfortunately, The Force Awakens since things weren’t going too badly up until Rey had to take on Kylo Ren on her own due to Finn being down and out of the fight. It had already been established that the lightsaber kept in Maz Kanata’s fortress had called out to her in a manner she didn’t understand, but to think that she could simply pick it up and start fighting with it is kind of tough to accept.
But if she were Anakin reborn, that opens up new avenues of thought and new ideas that are far more conducive to how the movies went down since she would have a serious leg up considering that Anakin was one of the most powerful Force-users ever in the history of Star Wars. It would still take a bit of explaining, but the raw power that he possessed, the undeniable strength he had in the Force, would explain how Rey was not only able to keep Kylo Ren from reading her mind, but it would explain her connection to the lightsaber, how she came by such raw talent, and how she was able to fight so well since like it or not, a scavenger with innate fighting abilities still shouldn’t have been able to fight off a trained Force-user, especially with an unfamiliar weapon.
Many might either say I sound like a fanboy (ugh, no offense but ugh) or that it could be attributed to her being a Palpatine. That would certainly explain her Force sensitivity, but it wouldn’t explain several other things. But seeing as how this is fanfiction it’s not going to be much of a concern to those at Disney since they already have a course plotted and are going to see it through to the end, whether that’s the end of the Star Wars franchise or not is the question. It does kind of feel as though those working with and for the Mouse House didn’t really fully understand the whole concept of Star Wars when Lucasfilm was bought up, but then again, it’s easy to say that a lot of people don’t since the story has changed quite a bit since George Lucas created it. If some folks had their way, the Legends canon would have been delivered in full force and we’d have likely seen Cade Skywalker by now and the galaxy would have changed quite a bit over the years. But Disney had other plans, and as things have progressed it’s obvious that they’ll pick which parts of the Legends canon they want to use while sticking to the idea that it’s their story and they’re going to tell it.
The implication of Rey being Anakin reborn into the body of a descendant of Palpatine is kind of awkward to think about, but it also means that she would naturally be more than a little talented when it comes to the Force, but also susceptible to the dark side. This was evident when she spoke to the Force ghost of Luke Skywalker about being afraid of herself since she didn’t want to go down a dark path. She’d seen what she could do at that point and didn’t want to think that she might end up hurting others or falling victim to the dark side, which would have been a major loss in her mind. It could have also been triggered by Anakin recognizing that a trip back to the dark side would lose everything in Rey’s life once again, which means the impulse would have been there to go even deeper into the dark side or pull away from everything and everyone completely.
However one wants to word this, the idea of Rey being Anakin Skywalker isn’t literal, it simply means that Anakin’s spirit was reborn in another body and given over to another individual, bestowing the powers and the weaknesses that his being had experienced in the past, and somehow finding Rey plunked down in an even worse situation than Anakin experienced. One has to remember that Anakin didn’t have the kindest life, but at the very least he had his mother, and then the Jedi. Rey kind of had no one from a young age and had to learn how to survive.